|Thailand, Page 2|
Sex in Thailand Part 1: The Basics Disclaimer: You'll find nothing in here about pedophilia, and only a line or two about gay sex. The former, IMHO, is pathologically evil, and I have no personal interest in the latter. For those interested in pedophilia, BEWARE! Anyone arrested for pedophilia in Thailand now has their record, and the reason for their arrest, published in their home-town newspapers. It's happening now in the US and Europe. Think about it. AIDS (to get this out of the way at the outset): Indulging in sex in Thailand is like participating in a high-risk sport where you have no control over your equipment. Sky-diving without knowing who packed your chute, for example; or with no chute at all. The risk is real; there's more than a 50% chance your partner(s) will be HIV positive. If you are particularly naive, you can take comfort from the "100% AIDS-Free" badges the girls wear in some places. It's your life. 1. This will be my first trip to Thailand. What should I know about Thai women? Thai women are like women anywhere: some nice, some not so; some pretty, some not so. Do NOT (also in the rest of Asia) mistake personal grace for subservience. When treated badly, they will react the same as people anywhere. Same goes for Thai men. When deliberately insulted, Thais are capable of sudden and (to the recipient) astonishing violence. Thai boxing is not the sport of pacifists; and in the Vietnam War, Thai soldiers were the most feared by the Viet Cong. They can, and if pushed will, kick your butt. Or worse. Behave decently and politely at all times, to everyone. 2. How do Thais regard prostitution, and prostitutes? Depends. Prostitution in Thailand has long been an accepted (if not universally loved) part of the social fabric. It does not carry the stigma, either for the women or their customers, that it does in the West. IMHO, this is primarily due to the fact that Thais adhere to a very different tradition from the guilt-laden and highly proscriptive Judeo-Christian one. In general society, prostitutes are not very discriminated against; but you wouldn't bring one to a party (where, no matter how conservatively-dressed and soft-spoken, she would, by a mysterious process, be instantly identified as what she was and cut out of the conversation. Maybe because she was foolish enough to show up with you, for example. Many, if not most, upper-class Thai women wouldn't be caught dead with a Westerner, no matter how "nice" you were. 3. Okay, enough. I get the picture. Where do I go and what do I do? I've been around Asia for 25 years and *I* don't have the picture. But okay. In Bangkok, you can spend your first evening unwinding in Patpong (your taxi driver knows). It's a 2-square-block area in the center of the city filled with bars of all types; and, if you're in the mood for haut cuisine, even a MacDonald's at one end. Which should give you an idea of how commercial the area has become. Still, it's worth a visit. Intensively police-patrolled, it's also safe. The center of the short main street (which is closed to cars) is full of flea-market stuff, while the bars are lined up along the sides. There's a kind of humorous contrast at play here: old tourist couples wander through the stalls while young touts flash dirty pictures at them and ask, "You want see fuck show?" There are two types of bars in Patpong: the street-level bars and the upstairs bars. At street level, what you see are many, many generally lovely young girls dancing onstage in bikinis, each with a number on them. You find a seat, order a beer, and ogle. Don't forget to watch the customers, too; frequently that's where the real entertainment is. Often, in Patpong, "dancers" on their break will approach you and ask you to buy them a drink. If you feel like it, go ahead. If not, a polite "No thank you, I'm waiting for someone" will suffice. If she sits down (most likely on your lap), you have one job and one job only: to make her laugh. These girls take more BS than you can imagine; if you can make her laugh (it isn't hard), you'll both have a lot of fun. If you're tense, not relaxed, or not in the mood for a good time, best to go back to your hotel. If you spot a girl on stage that you'd like to meet, ask one of the waiters to call her down. The girl will eye you, and if for any reason she doesn't like your looks, she'll shake her head. Let it go; there are many others. If she does come down, you're then obligated to buy her at least one drink. The conversation will be stilted; most speak little or no English. Smiles and nods are good, though. If you want to take any of these girls out, ask her. She'll check with a mama-san, who will come by to check you out (watch, clothing, where you're from, what hotel you're in). If it's okay, you'll pay a bar fee for the girl's time, and she'll hustle you down the street to any number of nearby, usually clean by-the-hour places. Don't bother asking her to go back to your hotel with you. She won't (if only for her own safety), and if you're in a 4- or 5-star hotel, she wouldn't make it as far as the elevator. Trust me. You're in the room. What will she do with you? Straight or oral sex. Period. Forget anal or anything exotic. These are simple working girls in a hurry. Nothing personal--it's economics. Whatever she does, if you plan on ever going back to the same bar, be kind and tip well (ask another customer in the bar what the going rate is). If not, you may find yourself boycotted by all the girls in that bar. Not that there aren't others, of course. Upstairs bars (yes, the ones with staircases leading directly off the street) are very different. That's where you'll see the famed sex shows, and can get a quick blow job on the premises. They're also famous rip-off joints, just so you know. And you're far away from the patrolling police on the street. The sex shows generally consist of several nude girls doing anatomically-improbable things with equally improbable props, like eggs, lit cigarettes and candles, and darts. This last is for the truly suicidal. Patrons around the bar are handed balloons, while on stage a girl lying on her back inserts a tube into her vagina. She then inserts a dart into the tube, takes aim, and fires the dart at the balloons. They rarely miss. You've heard of Dead-Eye Dick? Meet his sister. The grand finale is generally a couple having live sex on the stage, which, if you're seated at the bar, means about 24 inches from your nose. It's all very fascinating, the first time you see it. Thai sex shows are like cathedrals: see one, you've seen them all. The procedure for getting a girl here is the same as downstairs, except that the girls here generally make their own decisions, and prefer not to leave the premises, though they will take you down the street if you insist (economics again). Finally, Patpong is reasonably safe for adventurous women, escorted or not, who wish to view the goings-on. Wherever you go in the area, you're likely to find a kindred curious soul or two, and it's extremely unlikely that you'll be hassled in any way. You've "done" Patpong, and want to move on to more advanced things. Let's start (or end) at the airport. If you're arriving late or departing very early, it might be a good idea to overnight at the Airport Hotel, a decent place connected by an air-conditioned walkway to the terminal. The Airport Hotel offers an in-room massage service, which quits around 9pm. Don't use it. There is a massage parlor in the hotel itself, with girls available 24 hours. Ask directions from the hotel operator (it isn't easy to find), call first, then go down. Tell the parlor receptionist you want a "special private" massage. She'll escort you to a room, and after a few minutes ask you to come out into the corridor, where several girls will have been assembled. They are, almost without exception, young, not terribly pretty, and fresh in from the countryside. If your libido overcomes your empathy, select one (or more) and take them into the room assigned to you (not your hotel room). She'll probably do whatever you want, other than anal. But these girls are not paragons of customer service; don't expect enthusiasm, or to form a relationship. All-in-all (though there are always exceptions), one of the Thai sex trade's dimmer lights. Now we come to the heart of it all--Bangkok's famed massage parlors. These vary widely in the quality of the girls, general cleanliness, and in other ways as well. Some, for example, are private, for members only. Others do not under any circumstances admit non-Thais on the misconception that only foreigners carry AIDS--or on general racist principles. Surprised? It's the same all over Asia, friends. You, whitey, are the minority here, and are not always welcome. Unfortunately, it's the same for blacks. But paradoxically, for blacks the exclusion isn't necessarily racial. Ask a Thai prostitute who won't go with blacks why not, and the answer one most often hears is "Too big!" I know, it's still racism, but more bearable, perhaps, than the indiscriminate, ego- and skull-smashing kind. Here are two recommendations in Bangkok: Darling, and (my #1 recommendation) MonaLisa. Any cab driver will take you to either. I suggest you do not take them up on their alternative suggestions, which are based on the fact that they get a commission. Ask the cabbie to wait for you, negotiate a rate, and give him an extra 30 baht for a beer while he waits. Cab drivers will not infrequently ask to be treated to a girl. Laugh it off; they expect you to. Plan to go at 7 or 8 pm. Later, and the prettiest and most skilled girls are occupied. Earlier, and they haven't yet arrived. Closing time is universally 11pm. What happens when you go in? You'll find yourself with others like you, foreign and Thai, in a large, dimly-lit waiting area facing several plate-glass windows (one-way in some places), behind which sit, in ranks, up to 100 or more girls. They're in the establishment's uniform, usually a diaphanous thing, and all have a number pinned near their shoulder. They watch television, gossip, knit, read, or simply gaze. Very rarely, one will attempt to catch your eye. You will immediately be approached by one of several "managers," who will ask which girl you want. Don't allow yourself to be rushed; selection is part of the experience. Tell him you're in no hurry, and ask where you can get a beer (generally at a bar off the waiting room). Sit down or walk around, look at the girls, let your fantasies build, and RELAX. This can be intimidating the first time, and tension will detract from the experience. If you have something specific in mind--anything at all that you can imagine-- flag down a manager and tell him *exactly* what you want (a tiny bit awkward when the manager, as is sometimes the case, is a manageress). If you want the best blow job in the world, say so: he'll tell you which girls specialize in the field. If you want anal, say so. If you want to watch two or three girls making love to each other and then join in, say so. Be specific and graphic: they've heard it all before, and will steer you toward the right girl(s). Unlike the Patpong bars, here they're interested in the repeat business that customer satisfaction brings. When you've settled on a girl or girls, it's time to talk price. The price per girl is usually around US$75, for two hours, though standard procedure is for them to hit you up for a nice, round $100. Bargaining is okay, but not to extremes. After all, if you're happy, $100 is not bad; and if you're not, $10 is too much. When you eventually agree to a price, do so reluctantly, and add that for that price you expect a VIP room. He'll know what you mean (even if you don't). VIP rooms are generally bigger than others, and often heavily mirrored. The manager will call the girl(s) out through a microphone, and escort you to the cashier, where you'll pay up front and meet the girl. They all take credit cards, by the way. The cashier hands the room key to the girl, who will often remain silent until you address her. Smile, tell her your name, and try to refrain from asking particularly stupid questions out of nervousness. She'll take you to the elevator, then to the room. You'll probably pass other men, with their particular fantasy-fulfillers, on their way in or out, who will usually not want to make eye contact. Your lady will pause to tell a floor worker the room number. Once in the room, she'll start water running in the tub, and ask what you want to drink. Say you want a beer, even if you don't, and get a drink for her. In a moment the floor worker will knock and enter with a basket of oil, powder, soap, and some towels, and will take the drink order. Tip her well--she lives off your tips and those that the girl leaves when you vacate the room. You'll start off with a bath and a body massage. The bath is self-explanatory; it also gives the girl a chance to check you out for visible sores or other indications that you might be her particular angel of death. You, unfortunately, proceed on faith. The body massage is done on a soaped air mattress next to the tub, and I'll leave its pleasures to you to discover. Later you'll dry off, move to the bed, and do whatever it was you paid to do. It's all very leisurely; you've got two hours to play. On occasion (it's very individual) a girl might possess some extremely powerful Thai stick, and will ask you to join her in a smoke. It's up to you, but if you don't, you can be sure she'll have had a better time than you (and have blotted you completely out in the process). Whatever, almost without exception in my experience, these girls are very, very good at what they do. That said, it would be well to remember that what these girls *do*, each for their own reasons, is not what they *are*. Often, they are quite funny and bright. Even if not, if you never cease to remember that they are, before anything else, human beings with human feelings, chances are good you'll truly enjoy yourself, and you will have made her life, for a moment, at least, not as completely horrible as it might have been. Tip the girl around 400 baht and, if you were satisfied and think you'll ever return, drop 200 baht on the manager who steered you right on the way out. Now go outside and find your cab driver. He'll remember you, even if you're too wrecked to remember him. Finally, a sentence for gays: ask a cab driver to take you to Soi Cowboy, which is wall-to-wall gay and TV bars. You'll be just fine.
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